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Types of Heart Conditions and Symptoms

Types of Heart Conditions and Symptoms

Heart disease is among the leading causes of death in the U.S. and globally. During February, we recognize American Heart Month, which helps to raise awareness of, and funding for, research for cardiovascular disease. Understanding different types of heart conditions and their symptoms can help you maintain a healthy heart year-round. Here is a look at some common types of heart conditions and their symptoms.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease. It occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, get blocked by a buildup of fatty deposits. This blockage can lead to chest pain (angina), shortness of breath and other CHD symptoms. In severe cases, it can cause a heart attack, which may result in permanent heart damage or death.

Heart Failure

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, happens when your heart cannot pump blood efficiently. It does not mean that your heart has stopped working, but rather that it's not meeting the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and swelling in the legs, ankles and feet.


An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. When the heart beats too fast, too slow or irregularly, it can affect the body's ability to pump blood effectively. Symptoms can range from barely noticeable to cardiovascular collapse and death.

Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular heart disease affects one or more of the four valves of the heart. These conditions can be congenital (born with them) or acquired (developed later in life). Symptoms vary depending on which valve is affected but can include shortness of breath, weakness or dizziness, discomfort in your chest and swelling in your ankles, feet or abdomen.

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy Year-Round

Maintaining a healthy heart involves several lifestyle choices:

Eat a Healthy Diet

Building a healthy diet can help you stay healthy and prevent heart disease. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats into your meals. Limiting salt, added sugars and saturated and trans fats also can contribute to heart health.

Stay Active

Regular physical activity helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight can help control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Don't Smoke

Smoking raises the risk of developing heart disease. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease.

Limit Alcohol

Excessive alcohol can raise your blood pressure and add extra calories, which can lead to weight gain.

Manage Stress

High levels of stress can raise your blood pressure and heart rate over time, leading to heart disease. Practice stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga or other relaxation exercises.

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Heart Care in Middleburg Heights, Ohio

Early detection and treatment of heart disease can help you stay healthy. At Southwest General Health Center, we work with you to give you the high-quality medical care you need. Our team of primary and specialty care physicians works hard to provide the right care to you and your family. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, visit us at